FINS OF WHALES 41 on p. 196. The only mammal which appears to have the proper five bones in the distal row of the carpus corresponding to the five metacarpals is Hyperoodon, where this state of affairs at least occasionally occurs. The final bone of that series, the unciform, seems to represent two bones fused. Very often the carpus is reduced by the fusion of certain of the carpal bones; thus among the Garnivora it is usual for the scaphoid and the lunar to be fused. It is interestingly significant that these bones retain their distinctness in the ancestral Creodonts. In many Ungulates the trapezium vanishes. The reduction of the toes in fact implies a reduction of the separate elements of the carpus. As to the digits of the mammalian hand, the greatest number is five, the various supplementary bonelets known as prepollex and postimnimus being, it is now generally held, merely supple- mentary ossifications not representing the rudiments of pre-existing fingers. They may, however, bear claws.1 The number of phalanges which follow upon the metacarpals is almost constantly three in the mammals, excepting for the thumb, which has only two. This is highly characteristic of the group as opposed to reptiles and birds, and the increase in the number of these bones in the WTiales and to a very faint degree in the Sirenia is a special re- duplication, which will be mentioned when those animals are treated of. The Pelvic Girdle.—The pelvic girdle or hip girdle is the combined set of bones which are attached on the one hand to the sacrum and on the other articulate with the hind-limb. Four distinct elements are to be recognised in each " os inno- minatum/' the name given to the conjoined bones of each half of the entire pelvis. These are :—the ilium, which articulates with the sacrum ; the ischium, which is posterior ; the pubis, which is anterior; and finally, a small element, the cotyloid, which lies within the acetabular cavity where the femur articulates. The epipubes of the Monotreme and the Marsupial are dealt with elsewhere (see p. 116) as they are peculiar to those groups. Professor Huxley pointed out many years since that while the Eutherian Mammalia differ from the reptiles in the fact that the axis of the ilium lies at a less angle with that of the sacrum, 1 Horny matter is apt to be formed upon extremities ; instances which are well known are the "claws" upon the tail of the Lion and Leopard and the Kangaroo Onychogale. For an account of the first see Proc. Zool. Son, 1832, p. 146.